United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory (UNOCHA)
Protection of Civilians Report: December 8-21, 2020
On 21 December, a 17-year-old Palestinian boy from Qabatiya (Jenin) reportedly opened fire at a police post in the Old City of Jerusalem and was subsequently shot and killed by Israeli forces who chased him. A police officer reportedly fell while running and was lightly injured.
On 20 December, an Israeli woman was found dead in a forest near the Tal Menashe settlement (Jenin), where she lived; the Israeli authorities suspect she had been attacked by a Palestinian. A series of stone throwing and physical assault incidents by Israeli settlers against Palestinians (mostly outside the reporting period) have been associated by the Israeli media with this case.
A total of 73 Palestinians, including 16 children, were injured in multiple clashes with Israeli forces across the West Bank. The bulk of the injuries (57) were recorded in protests against settlement activities in Kufur Qaddoum (Qalqilia), Al Mughayyir and Kafr Malik (Ramallah). Fourteen Palestinians were injured in clashes during search-and-arrest operations in the cities of Tulkarem and Nablus and in Jaba’ village (Jenin). Two Palestinians were injured near Jenin, while trying to cross into Israel through Barrier breaches. Ten of the Palestinians injured during this period were hit by live ammunition, 17 by rubber bullets, and 40 were treated for inhaling tear gas.
Israeli forces carried out 183 search-and-arrest operations and arrested 154 Palestinians across the West Bank. Most operations were recorded in the governorates of Nablus (39) and Tulkarem (35), followed by Jerusalem (28) and Hebron (23).
A home located about one kilometre away from Israel’s perimeter fence east of Gaza city was hit and severely damaged by an Israeli tank shell, reportedly fired accidentally. On at least 22 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near the fence, and off Gaza’s coast, apparently to enforce access restrictions. Twice, Israeli bulldozers levelled land near the fence, inside Gaza. Israeli forces deployed signs at about 100 metres away from the fence ordering Palestinian farmers to move away their crops, or otherwise they would be forcibly removed.
A total of 21 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized due to a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 14 people and otherwise affecting over 100. Two homes were seized in two Bedouin communities (Abu Nuwar and Az Za’ayyem Za’atreh) located in Area C of the Jerusalem governorate, within or nearby an area planned for a large settlement expansion project (E1). Another 16 structures were demolished or seized elsewhere in Area C, seven of them in another Bedouin community (Ras ‘Ein al ‘Auja) in the Jordan Valley. The remaining three structures, in East Jerusalem, were demolished by their owners to avoid higher expenses and fines. 2020 has recorded the second highest number of structures demolished (after 2016) since OCHA began systematically documenting this practice in 2009.
Israeli forces bulldozed some 30 dunams of agricultural land near Suba village (Hebron), on grounds that it had been declared ‘state land’. About 930 olive, grape, almond and cactus trees were uprooted or damaged during the incident, in addition to agricultural terraces, metal bars and fences and a gate. The livelihoods of eight families were affected.
Eight Palestinians, including three children, were injured and at least 740 Palestinian-owned trees and saplings were damaged by perpetrators believed to be Israeli settlers. In three separate incidents, Israeli settlers physically assaulted and forced out of their land Palestinian farmers from the community of Susiya, injuring a boy and an elderly man; this is one of multiple communities in Area C at risk of forcible transfer. Another three similar incidents affected farmers and other residents from Kisan village (Bethlehem). Three Palestinians were injured nearby Hebron following the death of the above-mentioned Israeli woman, including a boy and his father at Beit ‘Einun junction and a shepherd near Asfar settlement. The other three injuries were physically assaulted in East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and Nablus. Five incidents involving the vandalizing of some 740 trees and saplings were recorded, one of them in the Khallet Athaba’ community (Hebron), where 400 olive and almond trees were damaged. Since the start of 2020, at least 8,550 trees have been damaged by people known or believed to be Israeli settlers.
Two Israelis were injured and 17 Israeli-plated vehicles were damaged while travelling on West Bank roads by perpetrators believed to be Palestinians, according to Israeli sources. The incidents involved the throwing of stones and paint bottles.
On 21 December, a 16-year-old Israeli boy was killed and four other settlers were injured when their car crashed while being chased by Israeli police, east of Ramallah. The Israeli authorities reportedly suspected they had thrown stones at Palestinian cars.